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large breast problems

1081 Views 19 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Mommy StormRaven
My little Lucas is now 4 months old (will be next Thursday) and we're having more and more difficulties with feedings due to my horribly large breasts (they're in the F or G range
). During the day we were successfully using the football/clutch hold with 2 pillows on the couch, but night feedings have never been comfortable. We co-sleep and to get him to nurse in the side-lying position for either breast involves being in a very uncomfortable position--and a very sore back. Well, now our daytime situation isn't working because he's getting too long to hold in the football position. I've tried laying a pillow across my lap and using towels to hoist (sorry; what a terrible word to use!) up my breast to his level, but it doesn't work well. Ugh!!

I saw a LC in the hospital when I gave birth and she told me to be "persistent & creative" as I was going to have problems with these enormous breasts of mine.

Just wondering if anyone has a similar problem & has any suggestions...where else can I talk about these things??

Thanks in advance.

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1. get thee to La Leche League.

you will find help and support and friendship in a monthly meeting. a variety of people will have a variety of ideas. you will also have valuable info to share. ask them to lie down on the floor and show you how they nurse in bed. they will be happy to.

2. buy the breastfeeding foam support called, "my brest friend".

i found it reallyhelpful. it makes a kind of shelf around you. should not be too hard to find.

3. buy a buckwheat hull pillow.

it really helps with lying down nursing because it keeps its shape under your neck. will help you to sleep better.

4. the following is slowly, simultaneously happening. your breasts are slowly decreasing, and your babies mouth is getting bigger.

he is also becoming an old hand at nursing, which helps. your situation is temporary.

5. review proper positioning. bring the baby to the breast, NOT the breast to the baby. this leads to uncomfortable habits. you want tummy to tummy.

6. take calcium and MAGNESIUM when you go to bed and more MAGNESIUM by itself when you get up in the middle of the night. always with a full glass of water, because you're eating rocks.

this will help you to avoid skelatal-muscular pain and will relax you and help you to sleep heavier. it takes alot of mineral to make milk.

if youcould describe your position in more detail, and how you are hurting exactly, you will get better advice.

look in the phone book for la leche league, the meeting will be really helpful, i think.

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I was at a loss when dd outgrew the football hold. I'm only an E and it was hard to do other positions. Then we used to do cross cradle on the boppy. Have you tried that? You still have some control that way. BTW I've heard of women using a 'sling' to hold their breast up - I think you can fashion one out of a receiving blanket tied up. Never tried it but heard about it.

After a while, dd would really get annoyed at any effort to hold her head. But she was a terrible latcher, she started to prefer the cradle hold but she'd do horrible things to my nipples. I can't remember, maybe 4- 5 months? when she could finally nurse in the cradle position and lying down.

Read the 'side lying positions' thread in this forum for ideas about lying down nursing and there's some photos.

It'll get easier as he gets bigger and can move his head around more to find the nipple.
I have big ones, too, and I used a rolled up recieving blanket under my breast. It would help prop it up so the nipple was more pointed out, not down (KWIM?). You can still do a sort of modified football hold if you sit on a big couch, and kind of lay the baby down next to you. Does that make sense? It does get easier when the baby's mouth gets bigger. Hold on, you can do it! -Sarah
HANG IN THERE!! You can do it!!

I second and third contacting LLL, they are mothers who have been there/done that.

I just yesterday, was fitted for the FIRST time, with a nursing bra.

This is my 3rd kid who is nursing too! I breastfed all my children, my 2nd child until he was over 2, and still never was fitted, just wore what I thought was right. Well, I shocked the lady who was fitting me, I was squeezed in a 36 DD, she measured me at a 34 G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(her site has the best deals on large breasted nursing women-it's her specialty- )

Anyway, I sleep with my one month old, just roll over when he grunts at night (he doesn't get a chance to really wake up, he starts grunting and I get a nipple close to him and bam, he latches back on and is right back to sleep....ahhhhhhhhhhh,,,, lots of sleep for me!) and it works great, also during the day if we take a nap I nurse laying down. OR, I get a blanket and place it under him to prop him up a bit and it supports him and my arms/back a great deal. The thing is, you will probably shrink a cup or 2 in the next month or so when things start averaging out, that is what I always found with me anyway.

Good luck!!!!!
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I hear ya.
I was a 34G when DD was born and have now reduced to a 32F.
We've mastered side lying at night, but what I do is put a pillow behind my back and then roll slightly away from her so my breast 'lifts up' just enough so that the nipple is squared with her mouth, but my breast isn't actually off the mattress. Then she can latch on. I still have to guide my breast with one hand, and I usually sleep with that hand under my breast all night long, but it's way more comfortable on my back leaning into the pillow like that... Try it out and see if it works for you.
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I'm a 34G, and I had similar problems at first. It took us quite a while to master the side lying position. Like about 4 months or so. It still isn't one of my favorites.

After my baby got too long for the football hold, we stuck to the cross cradle hold most of the time. Eventually, both of us got comfortable enough with it that I was able to start switching to the regular cradle hold after he was latched on. For the first few months, I got out of bed to feed him every time at night. I moved the nursing chair into the bedroom, and it wasn't too bad.

Eventually I did figure out how to nurse him in bed. I think around 2 months I started sitting up cross legged with pillows behind me, and then I eventually started moving into more of a reclining position. Now I can lie flat, and he just drapes himself across me.

You will eventually settle into a routine that works for both of you. You just need to try lots of things and watch people nurse lots of ways until you find some positions that are comfortable. It is incredibly frustrating that a lot of the "standard" advice is apparently for small breasted women. I know that I found my Boppy to be the biggest joke. Between my large breasts that hang to my belly button, my large baby, and my short waist, the baby's head was several inches higher than my breasts when we tried to use it.
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I had to use my Boppy until he was old enough to sit up and nurse! And I am a H. NIP was a pain and I never got the hang of it, I was always proping amd uncomfortable til he learned to sit up and nurse. As for the night times, I had to take a tylenol before bed to be able to sleep wihout pain in my side or back. I did get used to it, and at about a year he would start unlatching at night once in a while. I still go through it most nights though.
The most comfy position for me was on the couch, with my legs curled under me, a pillow on my lap and another between me and the arm of the couch, one hand on breast, one hand at baby's head. Even once he was a toddler it was still more comfy for me to keep my legs curled under me.
Side lying we became great at, but not til later. When he was tiny it was always uncomfortable for me, and I had to wake up to nurse him anyway so it just seemed easier to sit up and do it. once he could root around and lift my tshirt and find the breast himself side lying was perfect and meant I could sleep right on through the night (or at least doze).
Good luck!
I am an H cup so I understand. It gets easier as they ge bigger for sure. I used my nursing pillow often. A good one to try is My Breast Friend's Nursin Pillow. Its firmer than most and that helps a lot.
take MAGNESIUM INSTEAD OF TYLONOL. it's what you're missing, anyway.

take 500mg calcium with 250mg MAGNESIUM and a full glass of water at bedtime. take another MAGNESIUM only with water when you get up in the night.

it will really reduce pain and help you sleep heavier.


is sleeping heavier really a good thing when cosleeping though?

another large busted mama chiming in... i am a j cup. have you tried nursing from *the top breast* instead of the bottom breast while laying down? this is one of the ways we found worked best till we got the hang of the bottom breast.. we still usually nurse off the top one most of the time while layin down.
keep working on it, you'll get the hang of it in no time. i sooo kwum about the breast/belly button combo. sorry if its tmi, lol.
Me too, me too! I am so jealous when I see mamas nursing their babies without having to HOLD their breast to support it. My twins are almost 8 months old, and I have now shrunk to about an F cup. . . but just because my breasts are less full doesn't make them any less big really. They'e just floppier
. the floppiness is beneficial to the side-lying nursing, though. I can pretty much lie on my back and nurse a baby who's lying at my side
. I still use my boppy when I want to be able to use just one hand to support my breast (and not have to support the baby too). I've found that when I don't support my breast, my nipples get really sore.

It is starting to get easier, though. I remember someone telling me that once my babies' heads were as big as my breasts, I wouldn't need to support my breasts anymore. Well this milestone has just about been reached, and I have been having some success.

I try to focus on the positive aspects, like being able to nurse from the top breast (when lying on my side), or being able to nurse the babies while they're buckled into their carseats (I can keep my seatbelt on too because my breasts really do stretch THAT far!).


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that was an important question. it's all relative. for people who feel like they aren't getting any sleep at all, a little heavier sleeping helps a lot.

magnesium does not act on your body like a drug or alcohol.

taking extra magnesium, as well as choosing magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, helps to replace an important mineral that's going out of you and into your breastmilk.

signs of magnesium deficiency can be:

sleeplessness, anxiety, headache, cramping and other skelatal-muscular pain and constipation.

many of these can happen to the pregnant and nursing mother, now and then.

i've had a lot of relief from a little extra magnesium.

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Wow! Thank you all so much for the advice & support. I feel much better.

Once we have a reliable car I can use, I definitely plan on attending some LLL meetings. That would be invaluable. Thanks for the suggestion!

And, yep, we do use the "top" breast when side-lying and that works better, but my back still hurts. I guess it's the way I have to curve my back coupled with the fact that we have only a full-size bed. So, it's impossible to put something behind my back as I have barely enough room to stay on the bed as it is. I'm heavy, too, so that doesn't help. Thankfully my 6'1" DH weighs only 160 pounds or so...

And rrr, thanks for the magnesium suggestion. I don't know if that's my problems, but, gee, I have *all* of those symptoms. I'll try it!

Thanks again everyone!

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how can you make your bed bigger?

can you make a bed for your husband right next to your bed?

more room would definitely help.

i cannot be trapped in the middle. there's just no way.

buckwheat hull pillow.

find the LLL meeting on line, until you can get to a meeting.

call and talk to the leader and find out if any regular members live close to you and can pick you up. we do that in our meeting.

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Just wanted to say good luck! sounds like there are already alot of great ideas listed!
I'm an H and am just trying to think what it is we do. I definitely have to hold my breast while she is nursing. The main problem I have, actually, is that my hand falls asleep! I lie on my side with my knees bent, my lower arm is under two pillows, which are under my head. She lies on her side facing me, propped with a pillow. She is big enough to stay put without one now, but we still use one so she is not as tempted to roll away and take my nipple with her! heh heh I use my top hand to support my breast and she does the rest. She cannot nurse unless I am holding the breast. Otherwise the nipple disappears underneath me! :LOL When sitting I prop my feet somehow, with a nursing footstool, another chair, the computer's hard drive (!), etc., or I cross one leg over the other and prop her up that way. Then she sits on my lap with her head and upper body turned toward me. I hold her with one arm and my breast with the other hand. Good luck!
I'm in an I cup and I understand your pain ( 3x weekly in the chiropractor office for adjustments - beleive me I know the pain of nursing with monster boobs!)

Anyhow - DD is 5 weeks old and jsut now has gotten to the poitn where she can and will nurse in other than the football hold - I think it's partly a matter of teachign the baby the position and being stubborn about it. She will now nurse in ANY positon and this is a HUGE blessing to me.

Sounds to me liek he has jsut gotten used to being in that position and needs to learn a new one. But I second everyone else's recommendation for LLL meetings, also If you can find one int he area an LC would do wonders for you is my guess!

Stick it out and hang in there....

(OT) - HI LORI! (It's MojomakinMisha)
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